It is usually asked in an enthusiastic tone, as though the interrogator hopes that they will soon have the opportunity to laugh heartily at my misfortune.
Sadly for them, I can only remember two times when I have ended up in the canal, and the last was around 13 years ago.
I was nine years’ old and a mechanic had come over with his teenage son to look at my dad’s faulty engine. As a shy young girl, any encounter with the opposite sex was already a tense experience (although, to be honest, I was so shy that any encounter with any human being, of any age or gender, was mildly terrifying).
My dad led them inside whilst I went around to the back of the boat. I attempted what, in my head, would have been a graceful leap on to the back deck.
Instead I plunged straight down into the muddy water, which can’t have been good for my fragile self-esteem.
I’m not sure if my head went under. All I remember is suddenly seeing algae-ridden concrete in front of my face and being up to my armpits in cold, murky liquid.
The bank was too high and my skinny little arms too weak to pull myself out, but thankfully my neighbour came out into the garden and heard my awkward, high-pitched plea. She pulled me out and I slumped back towards my father.
Previous to this, I only recall falling in once as a toddler.
I was sat on the bank with a fishing-rod made of a stick with a bit of string tied to the end (I was an avant-garde fisher, with no need for bait or hooks). I stared intently at the end of my line, following its trail down into the canal.
So intently, in fact, that I rolled gently forward before tumbling head first into the water.
Luckily, as you can see, I lived to tell the tale. I was wearing some very dashing purple dungarees, and as my dad heard the fateful splash, he ran forward and grabbed the dungaree straps, hauling me out of the canal.
Boating Top Tips: 1. Never try to impress boys when you are near large bodies of water.
2. Always wear dungarees.